Saturday, July 26, 2014

Critters, oranges and some art.

Yesterday, we rode our bikes to the corner of East 7th and Ontario Street to deliver our carefully saved juice and almond milk containers to the recycling depot.  (Is any other reader frustrated that there are so few places to recycle Tetra Pak containers?)  I wasn't really looking for the colour orange around me, but just around the corner from the depot, this apartment building stood out.  
 Steps from that building was an orangey-pink house.  On the steps of the house was.. 
 a cat, just begging, I thought, to be photographed.
 I moved closer,
 loving the play of shadows..
 and the air of absolute contentment.
 We rode our bikes up quite a steep hill after that.  No pictures of us, but that orange-shirted cyclist was just ahead of us.  Bill is getting so strong!  He reached the top without stopping.  I needed a little rest :)
I have posted about Magdalena Abakanowicz's Walking Figures before. As art, I can't say I would want them in my back yard, but we have spent some enjoyable times in their presence and I was happy to see that they were still in their same location on Cambie Street, near Vancouver's City Hall.  The link above takes you to the artist's web site.    
 This quote from her page struck me this morning:
"I feel overwhelmed by quantity where counting no longer makes sense. By unrepeatability within such quantity. A crowd of people or birds, insect or leaves, is a mysterious assemblage of variants of a certain prototype, a riddle of nature abhorrent to exact repetition or inability to produce it, just as a human hand can not repeat its own gesture".
 There doesn't seem to be much that overwhelms Black Jack.
She led Bill through the figures, interested, most likely, in the possibility of a leftover crumb.
 I thought the feet, as huge as they were, had a feeling of fragility to them.
As we walked up the steps to City Hall, a few flowers peeked around the railing. 
 I like British Columbia's flag and I've always liked the..
 clocks of City Hall, four in total, facing north, south, east and west.  The story of their restoration is an interesting one.
With a bit of angling, my big lens was able to fit two of the clocks and the flag into this shot :)  
 The gardens..
 were thriving.  I've never seen so much lavender..
 or so many bees.  Even the blooms past their peek seemed occupied.
 This sign taught me about mason bees.  I was touched that a young girl..
and her friends are growing up with such an awareness of their environment.
The community garden signs also touched me, as they have each time I've visited.
 Jennifer and Sheldon's first effort at a garden seems to be a success!
 Another orange bloom, 
 seagulls overhead,
 blue art at my feet, 
and lush scenes made our visit a sensory-overloaded one.
 We spent a little time with another piece of art, previously enjoyed.
You can read about "The Lovers II" in several internet articles.  I enjoyed this blog entry by Stanley Q. Woodvine this morning.
 This link to Gerhard Juchum's (sculptor 1932-1977) page shows a tragic but also beautiful life.  I've posted it once before, but his story is truly worth reading.  German parents, born in Rumania, lived through WWII, veterinarian who had to retrain every time he changed countries, an urge to create art, determination to place his work wherever he chose in spite of city restrictions and public opposition - this is the stuff of movie plots, I would think.  I'm glad to have discovered him and..  
 though the upkeep isn't as stellar as I would like, I'm very happy that City Hall..
 welcomes "Lovers II" into its gardens.    
One last photo as I looked up through the branches of some incredible old trees, and then we were on our way.  We sailed along the 10th avenue bike route, then down the Cypress Street bike route, over the Burrard Bridge, and home again.  Another great ride!
After supper, we walked with Black Jack along the False Creek walkway.  There was just enough light to record the outline of Cormorant wings dropped, 
 and taking the beautiful bird homeward, I'm guessing, along a determinedly straight path.
 A seal popped up.  I feel quite sure she knew us.  I've watched the seals being fed by the fishermen at Granville Island in past years, and know that at least one of them recognizes Black Jack.  This one..
 looked right at us..
 and then rolled over..
 as happened once before..
 when Black Jack and I were standing 
 on a dock at Granville Island.
 She completed her roll last evening, 
 and then gave us..
one more direct look, almost as though she were saying, "Hi!  You've changed location but it's still good to see you again."  I'm amazed the photos came out at all, given the poor light, but oh my, how I do love to see the seals!
 Remember that City Hall clock near the beginning of this post?  I took it again, this time, from across False Creek and all the way to the top of 10th Avenue.  It still amazes me that so much of the city can be seen from our False Creek location.
 There was a new boat moored on False Creek.  Bill and I both thought it a very nice one.  Perhaps, a fishing boat converted to house boat?
 Five geese flew by..
 as we walked back through David Lam Park.
I took my last shot of the day just by our apartment building, thus keeping the orange theme alive.  It seems, this post earned its way into an Orange You Glad It's Friday (on Saturday) meme that Maria kindly hosts, and into two of my favourite critter memes, Eileen's Saturday's Critters and Misty's Camera Critters.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you live in Vancouver, perhaps you'll drop by English Bay any time after 3:00 p.m. to see Joe (I posted about him earlier in the week) and his Circle of Skillz event.  It's great chance to see some amazing talent and support  a BC Cancer fund raiser at the same time.


  1. WOW!!! That was one helluva productive day! You generated enough images for several OYGIF postings. The top one is my favorite -- very graphic and simple. Lovers II is touching; thanks for including them.

  2. the cat and the seal both look very content. :) the walking figures are kind of creepy. :)

  3. You do pack a lot into your days.. I always enjoy seeing your cute Black Jack.. Cool shadow shots with the kitty. Wonderful variety of critters, the seal is one of my favorites.. The Lovers statue is beautiful. Awesome post and photos. Thank you for linking up to my critter party. Enjoy the weekend!

  4. We have 30 Bronze standing figures at the Kansas City Nelson of Art Museum by Magdalena here in Kansas City, they are SO INTRIGUING. Your biking takes you everywhere--love the orange building too.

  5. Great textures, patterns, light& shadow and color in your photos! Wow! Beautiful flowers. You have some great material to photograph there in Ontario! Love what I am seeing of the city. And that wonderful seal! How delightful! I saw a wild seal in the ocean myself once when I was a child and it was a thrill.

  6. Love the sweet little faces on these seals! great captures

  7. What a great day you both had with lots of shots. I love the seals and of course Black Jack

  8. Bill must be strong to travel our local hills with ease. I practise such climbs regularly to try to build up my strength … lots of puffing along the way. The walking figures fascinate me in this post. Sometimes they remind me of giant uprooted teeth with feet. :)